Feb 18, 2021
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27,000+ UK retail jobs lost already this year - report

Feb 18, 2021

It’s bad and it could get a whole lot worse. That’s the stark message for the UK retail jobs sector from the Centre for Retail Research (CRR).

Photo: Nigel Taylor

Its latest figures show 27,096 retail jobs have been lost so far this year. That equates to 850 positions disappearing from the sector each working day since the start of January. 

What’s more, 1,023 stores across retail have so far been earmarked for closure, according to the report that covers insolvencies by retailers with 10 or more stores.

And it’s set to get worse, with CRR spokesman Professor Joshua Bamfield stating that job cuts will be the “tip of the iceberg” without further support from the Treasury. That includes not just extending temporary measures for a business rates holiday and a moratorium on evictions by landlords.

Although it's been widely reported the government is still considering an extension to the rent holiday, Bamfield said just a further extension to the schemes would “simply kick the can down the road”.

“Government loans enabling retailers to turn unpaid rents accumulated during the crisis into fixed-term repayable loans could be the answer as part of a wider basket of support”, he said.

At the onset of the pandemic, the UK government launched a holiday on business rates for retail, hospitality and leisure firms until March 31. Retail bosses have widely called on chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend the relief in his 3 March Budget.

Earlier this week, the Scottish government extended its business rates holiday until April 2022.

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